Around New Year when the chill of winters peaked, our family was down with high fever, running nose and cough. Though my parents and I recovered in 3 to 4 days, Pari who fell sick last, was still severely unwell and had to visit the pediatrician at the hospital.
During our brief interaction with the pediatrician, Pari picked up the word ‘Flu’ and asked me what it meant. Sometimes I get carried away forgetting that my child is a 4 year old and I went ahead to explain what ‘cold and flu’ meant, how they differed and what was their management in simple words.
Pari kept looking at me with eyes wide open, amazed by the variety of infectious microorganisms, grasping as much information she could.
A couple of days later, when her school reopened she told me that she had a fight with her class-mate Parv*. On gentle probing on what had caused the fight, this is what followed;
Me: What happened Pari?
Pari: Mumma Parv fought with me because of flu.
Me: Flu? Is he down with flu? what about it?
Pari: I explained to Parv all you had told me about flu and he said it was all wrong. I told him that my mumma taught me this and she can’t be wrong. But, he was adamant and we are no longer talking.
Me: *puzzled* What does Parv think flu means?
Pari: The poem we learnt today has a line, “The Robin flew”.
That’s when it dawned on me what had happened and I laughed for a long minute before explaining to Pari what was going on.
* Name changed to protect identity.
The song on my mind: Na bole tum, na maine kuch kaha ~ Baton Baton Mein